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6 things I learned this week about my inner life and changing the world

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Spiritual teacher, political change agent, and best-selling author Marianne Williamson, and musician and philanthropist, India Arie, visited New York City last week for “Our Inner Lives: Spirit, Faith & Action,” a panel discussion hosted by A multi-faith panel of speakers addressed “caring for our inner lives to make us more effective on the outside world.”

The topic is right in step with a growing conversation about using personal spirituality as a tool for social change. And the NYU Global Center for Academic and Spiritual Life was packed with several hundred of those interested in being the change they want to see in the world. (Including me.)

Got some social issues that fire you up and could use your support? Here are some inspiring messages and actionable advice we took away from the discussion. Tell us yours in the Comments, below:

Marianne Williamson and Indie Arie
Marianne Williamson and Indie Arie

1. Use a spiritual practice for advocating change. Heal your soul, so you can heal the world. Going within first opens up the effectiveness of any external shifts in the world that we want to see. There’s a limit to effective activism if we haven’t done the inner work.

2. Take action. Rehearsal is over. It’s curtain time. The age of data collection is over. Now is the time to act.

3. Our power lies in collaboration with other women. The reason we are not committed to creating change is because it doesn’t always make us popular when we speak out. But when we have each others’ back, we become unstoppable. American women should be a moral force for good because we have privileges that women in other parts of the world don’t have.

4. Within our prayer and meditation lies our instruction. In that peace, we can hear the small, still voice of wisdom and guidance that helps us decide what to do and how to best do it.

5. We are disruptors. We don’t want to replicate the same power structure that ruins the environment and hurts women and children. We want to do something different. We are standing for a revolution of the heart.

6. Tell your story—don’t let someone else tell it for you. Connect with your authentic voice to create change and action in the world. What is within you will save you when you bring it out. Women are amazing storytellers. Speak for yourself and seize your narrative. —Jennifer Kass